The ROAST Of Graham Nardone
Over 2014, there has been an increasing stream of demands from those wetting their panties over Sims 4 for more information on what they’re being asked to shell $60 for come 2nd September.
In February, Graham Nardone barfed to those who would listen that what had been shown was a tiny fraction of the content of what would be in the game – a week after yet another Honeywell leak – this time some of the base Sims 4 game wardrobe which looks suspiciously like merely a part port of the Sims 3 one.
But again from Graham, it was all ‘tell’ but no ‘show’.
In May, a new broadcast was put on You Tube which showed nothing prospective customers didn’t already know for months, as well as demonstrating that the entire Sims 4 team couldn’t manage to make one realistic self-Simmie between them with the supposed ‘more intuitive’ Create-A-Sim (CAS) tools: a fairly damning indictment that one of the main selling points wasn’t going to be making for the easier and thus more enjoyable Simming experience as claimed.
Far from quelling the unrest amongst those that had been sporting protesting signatures on the EA forum demanding answers, it began to grow as even some of the more blinkered Sims 4 evangelicals began to smell a rat.
The previous summer, the Simming world had its own Kasper Hauser moment partly c/o Siminati with one Patrick Kelly, who claimed at Mod The Sims and elsewhere to have been working on the Sims 4. What also came out however from others digging into what he had been doing was that what was being proffered as Sims 4 was reheated leftovers from an aborted game for mobile platforms under the working title Sims 4 Olympus – with screenshots hidden on Kelly’s own website (either in error or deliberately hoping others would find it) which looked suspiciously close to the Sims 4 screenshots doing the rounds.
With it being only forty days from GamesCon at the time, some accaused Kelly of being a discarded EA contractee looking for revenge (even if he appeared to be sucking up to EA at every posted opportunity in the hope of getting his old job back – e.g. ‘The Sims label especially is full of really talented creative people who will more than likely deliver an awesome TS4 game in 2014.’ )
Amid a flurry of accusation and counter-accusation that Kelly wasn’t being entirely being truthful either (or at the least as highly evasive as a Simguru over straightforward questions), he vanished without trace, leaving the mystery as to whether he’d been an attention seeking fantasist or whether EA’s legal department had silenced him.
But like Kasper Hauser, time proved that however outlandish the claims and eccentric the messenger, he proved to have been largely telling the truth. Kelly may not have breeched the dam, but he made the fatal cracks in the wall that helped make Honeywell’s scoop that August all the most devestating.
Ever since then, the tide has slowly and decisively been turning against Sims 4. The continued lack of a full demo, the abrupt cancellation of fan events even with those EA foolishly once called their extra special ‘YibSims’, and the only tangible information coming from the likes of Honeywell’s Nancy Drew antics than from official sources has convinced more and more Simmers something is greatly amiss about their shiny new game.
During the Sims 3 era most Simmers have been stiffed one way or another by EA’s duplicity and incompetence, especially those with Macs – and the series lost a lot of players during the Christmas 2009 World Adventures fiasco when an EA patch rendered the game unplayable for many for a prolongued period, and EA’s response was to suspend the more vocal people from the EA forum who complained to the Simgurus about it. By 2012, far too many were reliant on modders from the likes of Twallan’s NRaas Industries to be able to play their game at all as EA chose not to bother to correct some outstanding game bugs on older expansions.
Even in the most enthusiastic Simmer, the closer that clock has ticked to September 2nd, the louder the nagging doubts in the backs of minds with nothing from EA to quell them, and Zhivan’s dictum on the premier reason for prudence – ‘the economy really isn’t there, yet, is it?‘ – is making more Simmers decide to let others be the guinea pigs – and pay for the privilege. Being EA’s Sims 3 beta release testers for every expansion pack and EA Store Premium Content release for five years was bad enough.
Perhaps it’s little wonder that Graham Nardone is getting all crotchety – now suddenly very anxious to remind everyone he’s only the associate producer for Sims 4, not Big Chief like Rachel Franklin. The phrase ‘rat looking for a lifeboat’ springs to mind, same as Grant Rodiek did in 2010 when the bug ridden Late Night manure truck hit the wind turbine and it was left to the likes of Crinrict to sort the mess).
He’s even got himself a Mr Angry Face as his new Sims 4 avatar instead of his standard trying to take a dump after swallowing iron tablets one, as he carped back as certain criticisms of Sims 4‘s retro graphics – to which Honeywell made the point that perhaps the real problem lies in that Nardone and his mates can enjoy a life of corporate Friday pizza feasts and slothful ease, secure in the knowledge that unlike the shoot ’em up and MMO markets, they have a de facto monopoly of the ‘social God game’ market unless Nintendo decide they want Tomodachi Life to be available outwith the Nintendo users market.
Here’s the technical difference between those coding Skyrim and those coding Sims 3 – Bethesda employed better coders.
Yeah, truth hurts sunshine!
You pay peanuts, you get monkeys – or rather people who don’t give a monkey’s. Sims 3’s major problem from day one has been the employment of journeymen script kiddies who couldn’t cut it elsewhere or saw Redwood City’s Sims department as a far cushier number than the rest in a cut throat industry.
Nardone for example was one of those behind 2008’s notorious Destroy All Humans -Path Of The Furon – slammed for ‘the constant barrage of technical glitches renders it all but unplayable and leave it feeling like an unfinished work that was rushed to the shelves a month or two too soon’ and ‘a glitchy mess of incompetent design. It’s lazy, it’s dull and it’s hideous to look at. Clearly rushed out in time for the holidays’.
Sounds a familiar story?
Yes, he’d more success with Red Faction: Guerilla later, but that ought to have been a warning that the very public face of Sims 4 is someone with a track record happy to take your money for a pig with lipstick and smile whilst doing so as if her’s your friend – and anyone who finds that snide, we have but one word to say to you – Twallan. Someone who coded for Sims 3 as a hobby turned proved to have a bigger clue how to make the game work properly than the people employed 24/7 to do so for years.
Oh, by the way, who had been making those comparisons with Skyrim to get him so peeved? Guilty, your honour! The 11th November 2011 was the day Nardone and his ilk lost forever their right to play the ‘technical demands’ Get Out Of Fail Free card when one of the most gorgeous video games of all time ran better on older computers than Sims 3 did on brand new ones – and Redwood City’s pizza munchers damn well know it. After that, there could be no more excuses for anything less than – as Vidkid20 put it – expecting graphics and gameplay crisper than a vicar’s laundry in a 2014 game, not a regression to the Sims 2 era.
Graham Nardone can get as geek defensive about it all he likes, but it’s perhaps telling that one of those that has done more to hang Sims 4 out to dry and those behind it has been Honeywell, one of the forthcoming game’s biggest cheerleaders to date, and someone to whom many may owe a debt to come September the tune of $60 for leaving them forewarned and forearmed.
With the above in mind – if you haven’t fallen asleep by now – the day was always going to come when Graham Nardone trying to sell one bag of rocking horse shit too many, and if it was ever going to come, the days following the ‘No toddlers, no pools, no seemless World without loading screens, and no moaning about it, peasants!’ announcement was as likely as any.
But it was much to our surprise that it was over at Mod The Sims – whose staff have a bad habit of deleting posts that might upset their ‘Precious’ and cause him to stop posting in a sulk – that he finally got a long overdue roasting when dumb enough to attempt to take Original_Sim and Lovcat to task:
If you honestly believe that Nardone’s telling the truth when he says ‘I don’t want to go on the forums or Twitter or market to anyone,’ try taking a quick look at his LinkedIn, in particular what he lists first as his speciality:
‘Press and Community Relations’ – thatbargain basement marketing, like Lovcat said.
As Lovcat said, it wasn’t as if all that bargain basement marketing was amounting to much in the way of tangible evidence what Nardone expected people to shell out their $60 for.
But then came the da-da-daaaaa! moment – one of MTS‘s own staff got shirty over Nardone’s attempts to pass the buck to anonymous senior figures (‘it’s not me, it’s big boys that did it and ran away’):
Although he had half an hour to answer this and Lovcat’s post, he chose instead to answer someone entirely else – a standard Simguru tactic when getting the questions they don’t want. The lack of proper paragraphing however perhaps showed he was getting a little rattled.
Unlucky for him, Honeywell had a short and simple answer to Nardone’s plate of word spaghetti:
♫ Ho-ney- well – Ho-ney-well Simmie – floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee! ♪
Too many chiefs, not enough Indians – which is one of the reasons why they had to hastily bring one of their sacked squaws back toot sweet earlier in the year because they were so far behind with finishing the game.
HappyCowLover was even more blunt at Nardone’s excuses (or Graham Crackers!) for the dropping of pools and toddlers from the base game:
‘It wasn’t time consuming back in pre-2004 and pre-2009 , so why was it now?… I will not literally pay the price for EA’s refurbished monstrosity.’
Original_Sim was also unhappy that it appeared more was being devoted to style over substance (regressive as the general style is):
Perhaps Nardone should consider a career move and work for Michael Bay?
For retired (and much missed) CAW creator Tea_And_Blues (or Kiwi_Tea as he calls himself amongst those bloody barbarians down in Chez Delphy’s), it was all blooming ridiculous:
Making the game look like a bad drug trip might be the Sims 4‘s team putting in their own excuses ahead of time for this mess – ‘we were all stoned at the time, sorreeeeee, we promise Sims 5 will be so much better!’
Silly joking aside, Tea_And_Blues nailed it that the real problem was that those creating Sims 4 wasted a lot of time on creating the very online component they’ve denied thrice before cockcrow (in the wake of the Showtime Simport furore) and ever since was the case, only for it to be scrapped after the Sim City (2013) fiasco and resultant falling on his sword of EA’s CEO.
EA can put all the gag clauses in their hirelings’ contracts they like, but the resumés on the internet from people specialising on online networking, server issues, etc. which Honeywell has pointed to in the wake of the Patrick Kelly affair – such as current EA employee Gil Colgate (‘Sims 4 Got to work on clustered servers, chat systems, scaling and performance, and other internet style stuff when it was an internet based game.‘) – are the smoking guns that if there’s been any ‘issues’ with creating Sims 4, it’s been all the Simgurus own faults from as per usual their plans having all the cohesion of an octopus using chopsticks, and they should not be expecting everyone else to pay the price for them having to meet their own unrevised deadline.
Or as ScottAsher later put it:
If they cannot grow a pair and tell their own bosses they need more time to make it right, it’s their problem, not ours – same as they left it the Sims 3 community’s problem to deal with the Sims 3 expansion pack bugs they couldn’t be arsed repairing.
Some of the stuff Nardone came away with seemed little more than childish fibs:
It was disgruntled Mac user – Cupcub – who in one sentence encapsulated the frustrations and anger those in the Sims community have towards the Simgurus who seem more interested in spindoctoring Sims 4 than answering questions, especially any which they know a complete answer may deter people from buying en spec on release day:
‘What exactly are you asking us to pay for? Your good intentions?’
Judging by the manner in which Miskabee was lost from those buying during the thread, it seems that certainly appears to be the reasoning behind the Simguru’s twittered weasel words.
Although there are some people out there who ought to know better but still end up fooled:
And you think they deserve a round of applause for what thousands of workers are having to do in a thousand other industries at this time (damn few of those at home), often for a fraction of the wage and far tougher conditions than these ‘the hobby – the job, the job – the hobby’ lucky stiffs enjoy? How many other industries do you know where so many of the staff get on as many corporate beanos – all paid for out of the money we as customers cough up.
‘Give credit’ ? Not this side of hell, Inge Jones!
Let’s get this straight, you think there’s the chance that Sims 4 could be saved by new people replacing the alienated old fan base (a mere ten million judging by sales figures), snapping up a game with little to no other comparative on the market – thus bugger all cross over potential to get those new people from the way the shoot ’em ups, fantasy, MMOs’, etc have to get their new blood.
In other words picking up the shortfall in lost immediate sales (to say nothing of expansions and the EA Store which they are going to rely on even more to nickel and dime players this time around) from the more fickle mass general public, in an era when spending money for leisure remains tight, and they can pick up the old game and all its expansions for next to nothing shortly?
Did it happen with the Sims Medieval malarkey (which at least had some fleeting crossover appeal to those that will buy any game with a bit of Hey-Nonny-No involved?)
There’s as much chance of that as there is of any radio station ever playing Rolf Harris’ ‘Two Little Boys’ ever again!
(So long as we have Splodgenessabounds’ version, who cares a f**k about that Antipodean twatbeard anyway?)
There was one touch of light relief in all this. The Simgurus may want Sims 4 to be loved by you, but it proved a boob-boob-de-derp for one.
So that’s goodbye NormaJean? Seems to us she believed their lies, when Sims 4’s code’s fished from the bin…
Yeah, but the idea of ‘The Producers’ was that they were meant to be making a massive flop as it would make themselves more money that way and disaster only struck because it was a hit.
Or do you know something about what’s going on at Redwood City the rest of us don’t?
All of the above contrasted sharply to the easy ride he’s been given by some of the more mentally disturbed elements on the EA forum:
Oh it gets worse.
Much, much worse.
Grown adults happy to base their responses to someone lying in their faces on a matter that will cost them money on the basis that he makes them wetter than an otter’s pocket/gives them a raging boner (delete as appropriate)?
The tragic part is they are far from alone – and then you all wonder why on the EA forum at least the Simgurus are happy to play you all for the fools you are.
And for MadParrotDisease’s benefit as to the real reason why Graham Nardone posts on Mod The Sims, it’s called the numbers game.
Take it away, Don Babilon:
One million active member accounts is the reason why Graham Nardone’s so anxious to shove his tuppenny’s worth into any MTS discussions of Sims 4.
One million potential customers reading Sims 4 threads saying something other than everything about Sims 4 is wonderful and we’ll all be shitting rainbows come 2nd September.
If you were Graham Nardone, you’d be posting on MTS too whether you liked it or not.
Especially when they’re too stupid to restructure their financial model to deal with the realities of their business enviroment (both internal and external), take the monetary hit to give the production team more time and are hell bent on launching the leaky Sims 4 boat.
Graham Nardone isn’t posting on MTS to be ‘nice’ – he’s doing it because he needs enough of us to part with our money come the Sims 4 launch if he’s going to keep his job at EA.